Albanian Opposition Calls Citizens to Anti-Government Rallies
Albania's main opposition party the Democratic Party, PD, will gather citizens from across the country in the capital Tirana for anti-government protests on Saturday afternoon, four months ahead of parliamentary elections set for June 18.
"Four years of arrogance, abandonment, and chaos," was the message carried by the party's promotional video for the protest.
The demonstration, which will begin at noon, was first announced by PD chairman Lulzim Basha on February 1 - and Basha has used the time since then to tour the country drumming up potential participants.
On Thursday, at a meeting with citizens of the capital Tirana, Basha called on Albanians to use the rally to speak out about the problems they face as result of failures by Prime Minister Edi Rama's administration.
He called on citizens to release their fears, saying that if they protest together they "will be stronger".
"Everybody has his own problem - some from unemployment, another from the closure of his small business, some because of the failed health system, and another over the educational [system]," said Basha.
Another topic of Saturday's protest is set to be the alleged links of government officials to organised crime.
Members of the PD claim that Rama's administration is turning a blind eye to organised crime to boost their chances in the June election.
"I call Albanian citizens to stand up against crime. I also call on our international partners to seriously assess the large risk that Albania faces at a time when organized crime has captured the state," Basha wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week.
In previous meetings, Basha claimed the opposition protests would look similar to the mass corruption rallies gripping Romania in recent weeks...
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